Hard to believe that the season of glad tidings a good cheer was just two weeks ago. Has anyone else noticed an above-normal level of persnickety punctiliousness in what is considered acceptable to wear? Recently discussions have included rep ties, signet rings and critter stuff, and there’s certainly no shortage of self-appointed fashion marshalls eager to punish sartorial transgressions.
Well now we truly reach the biblical “end” of days as we turn to the topic of jeans. You’ve been warned.
Recently I discovered a new cut of jeans and was thinking about sharing it here. I know the jazz-Ivy cats in the UK who dig vintage Americana are bully on five-pockets in denim and corduroy, but what about old school trads and young neo-preps here in the States? So yesterday I put it to our Facebook group, asking “Do any of you guys wear jeans?” The topic garnered quite a bit of debate. My favorite comment was from a guy who said that jeans are workwear and therefore should only be used for work, though he was willing to make an exception to pickup games of baseball.
May I suggest we all band together and bring this before the United Nations to set up militias in every corner of the globe and give out tickets to anyone caught wearing jeans for puposes other than labor and baseball.
Anyway, I’ve mentioned here before that when dressing casual sometimes I’ll do this Ivy-cool-chic thing in which I’ll wear, say, jeans, bit loafers, OCBD and cashmere sweater (Warning: trying this at home may result in sartorial and spiritual discomfort). I had a couple pairs of Levi’s in the 508 model, which I discovered a couple of years ago. You get a tapered leg, a cool nod to the ’60s, but not a hipster low-rise. When I decided to replace one of them, I went to my premium denim boutique (JC Penney, Herald Square, NYC), but none of the current 508s appealed. The sales clerk directed me to a number I hadn’t heard of, the 541, which was apparently introduced last year.
I like it, and am sharing it here as some of you might like it as well.
This graphic says the 541 has a straight leg, while other descriptions from Levi’s say it’s slightly tapered. The latter is correct.
The 541 is billed as an “athletic cut inspired by athletes,” but who knows or cares what that’s supposed to mean. Here’s the gist of it: you get a traditional pair of jeans from the legendary American brand in a cut that’s more comfortable and a tad hipper than the iconic 501. By hipper I mean that there’s a slight taper to the leg, while overall the jean is more comfortable in the seat and thigh, so you won’t be self-conscious about your posterior. And the rise is full by jeans standards, without creeping up into dad-jeans territory.
I can’t guaratee you’ll like any of the color options, but hunt around. It seems like certain retailers carry colors that are different from those offered at levis.com. I found a charcoal pair that works great with my Ivy chic gear as well as my tweed jackets. And I think the khaki-colored ones in the top image would look great on you younger guys when paired with, say, a white buttondown, navy sweater, and burgundy penny loafers. Or even scruffier, with a “Take Ivy” kind of vibe.
As always, take it or leave it. — CC